Nigerian Female Innovators Recognized by Aurora Tech Award Lead the Conversation at Lagos Startup Week

This year’s focus is on enlightening attendees to the essentials of becoming limitless in business while remaining relevant in the constantly evolving startup ecosystem.

Nigerian Female Innovators Recognized by Aurora Tech Award Lead the Conversation at Lagos Startup Week

The gender gap in the African tech ecosystem manifests in various forms, including leadership representation, funding disparities, and pay gaps. To combat this gender bias, Lagos Startup Week has been dedicated to fostering a community for African female innovators over the past nine years, providing them with opportunities to grow, learn, and connect in the tech space.

One significant initiative is the inclusion of a track focused on showcasing trailblazing female founders who are redefining success in the tech ecosystem. "Women Who Launch" celebrates inspiring women who, against all odds, have achieved incredible feats while paving the way for future generations. Lagos Startup Week is committed to changing the gender ratio at all of our events and empowering women through networking opportunities and mentorship programs.

This year’s focus is on enlightening attendees to the essentials of becoming limitless in business while remaining relevant in the constantly evolving startup ecosystem. Speakers at this year's event include:

  • Somachi Chris-Asoluka (CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation) -  Fireside Chat: Supporting Founders of the Future
  • Mope Abudu (Managing Partner, AfriGloCal VC): Aurora Tech Award -  Female Founded, Female Funded
  • Amaka Okechukwu Opara (Founding Partner, Women's Enterprise Acceleration Vehicle) -  Aurora Tech Award: Female Founded, Female Funded
  • Olapeju Umah (Founder & CEO, MyFoodAngels) -  Aurora Tech Award: Female Founded, Female Funded
  • Olusubomi Hassan (NucleusIS Africa) -  Aurora Tech Award: Female Founded, Female Funded
  • Eniola Edun (Co-founder, Gamr) - Aurora Tech Award: Female Founded, Female Funded
  • Ifeoma Nwobu (Co-Founder & COO, Sendstack) - Aurora Tech Award: Female Founded, Female Funded
  • Jumoke Dada (Founder & CEO, Taeillo) - Aurora Tech Award: Female Founded, Female Funded

These women are at the forefront of driving change and have championed women-focused funds, fostered inclusive work environments, and advocated for policies that empower women to thrive in tech. They will share their insights, experiences, and actionable strategies to help women break barriers and achieve their full potential in the tech industry, across two days of the event - Thursday and Friday.

Past events have featured notable speakers such as Tosin Faniro-Dada, Surabhi Nimkar, Ifeoma Uddoh, Bilha Ndirangu, Kendra Nnachi, Yoanna Pepper Chikezie, Ketura Ovio, Oare Ehiemua, and Ife Durosinmi-Etti, covering topics on building more inclusive organizations where women can thrive and achieve their full potential. 

This year, Women Who Launch is sponsored by the Aurora Tech Award, an annual global prize for women founders of tech startups powered by inDrive. The Aurora Tech Award is dedicated to breaking down barriers and promoting equality in tech entrepreneurship.

Nadeen Hossam, Partnerships Manager, EMEA at Aurora Tech Award, said, 'We are thrilled to partner with Lagos Startup Week 2024 to expand our outreach and empower women founders across Africa. Over the past year, we have received more than 650 applications from 90 countries spanning the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, CIS, and Asia. Last year's winner, Folake Owodunni from Nigeria, exemplifies the incredible talent and potential within Nigeria's vibrant tech scene. We firmly believe in the power and potential of the entire African region.

The Aurora Tech Award is steadfast in its commitment to empowering tech women founders worldwide by providing them with invaluable resources, global media and publicity, mentorship, and access to a global network of like-minded peers, investors, and mentors. Our goal is to become the leading technology award for women entrepreneurs globally continuing to address the global gender gap in tech entrepreneurship and foster a more inclusive industry.”

According to Isioma Utomi, Lead Organiser of the Women Who Launch summit, “The African startup ecosystem has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade, but this growth hardly reflects where the female-led startups are concerned. The H1 report card by Africa: The Big Deal, and the limited allocations made to female-led startups, underscores the challenges around female founders funding in the ecosystem.”

Reiterating Utomi’s call for female founders support, Olumide Olayinka, Co-founder, Prime Startups, the governing corporate company driving Lagos Startup Week in the last nine years said that the firm’s approach to female participation in the ecosystem has been very intentional and strategic.

“Limitless, the theme for this year strongly resonates with women. We have seen this in the way that they have broken through barriers, taken a seat at every table across the globe, built and scaled their businesses with limited access to funding and support. Yet, they still keep at it. This is why women’s participation is at the core of Lagos Startup Week.”

Olayinka stated that in 2023, Lagos Startup Week realized 45% female participation, and there are plans to increase this number in the ninth edition.

“Last year, we had over 4500 females register and attend Lagos Startup Week. This year, we have seen even more interest from females through their registration and we are positive that we will surpass our record of female participants. We are intentional about leading this year’s event with women, including them in panels other than the ‘Women Who Launch’ track. There are so many stories to be told about these women shaping new narratives in tech, and we are excited that our audience will get to hear it all in a few days from now.”

Data shows that organisations which have women in leadership and on boards are more successful and show better financial returns. So this is a great time to invest in women in the tech space. 

It's important to continue to drive an inclusive startup ecosystem where women are not only represented, but also take on key leadership roles as founders and funders.”

The agenda for LWS 2024 includes inspiring keynote sessions, engaging panels, workshops, and exciting speed networking opportunities! Afterwards, enjoy networking with like-minded individuals over drinks.

Whether you are an aspiring tech entrepreneur, a seasoned professional, or someone passionate about gender equality in tech, this track promises to provide valuable perspectives and inspire you to contribute to an inclusive and supportive tech ecosystem. Come prepared to share the room with world-class women in your organization and circle of influence to help us empower more African female founders and possibly funders.

Register ahead for this track, here

Get weekly insights on tech startups and VC in Africa